RAF ends trials with PAVEWAY IV
The completion of these trials is a significant milestone that paves the way for work to bring the weapon into Service.
The weapon’s combined Demonstration of Capability and Operational Evaluation Trials were conducted by the Air Warfare Centre (AWC) at the Naval Air Warfare Centre, China Lake, California.
A total of fourteen operational rounds were dropped from Harrier GR9 aircraft flown by 41(R) Sqn, the RAF’s Fast Jet & Weapons Operational Evaluation Unit.
The weapon has a GPS-aideds inertial guidance system for bad weather and laser guidance for visual attacks.
The significant new capability that Paveway IV brings is the ability to selectively programme the fuze target effects from the cockpit. The pilot can select the angle at which the weapon impacts the target and also the direction from which it approaches the target. This allows the pilot to select the optimal impact conditions to maximise the effect of the 500lb warhead.
The pilot also has the ability to select the optimum weapon fuzing mode with which to attack a target. Variable post-impact delays can be set to penetrate semi-hardened structures or reduce collateral damage effects.
The weapon can also be set to detonate on Impact or, by using an in-built Height of Burst sensor, can be set to detonate at variable heights above the ground.
Integration of Paveway IV onto Tornado and Typhoon is underway with plans to extend it to Joint Combat Aircraft in due course.